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Now, the next thing I see coming down the pike is how many of those links are acceptable. I'm not too certain that placing a link to your site from every single page of a clients site is advisable. Many do it, but I think it will come under fire in the near future.
Whatever about past practices, today, hiding links on clients sites strikes me as fundamentally un-professional.
I'm looking forward, (sort of) to the reactions to the first case of a client suing the SEO for their site being penalised by the Big G for 'unacceptable' practices they were not sufficiently informed about.
p1r - A little off topic for this thread, but I can't think of a better place to post it... do you see any difference between this kind of visible link, and a visible link to, say, a parent company, that is similarly on every page of a subsidiary's site?
If I were to place myself in a spiders shoes, I would not be able to see the difference. These types of practices (hidden links and such) I think are usually addressed via a human review. And that is assuming that they come under that type of scrutiny. Excessive inbounds from same properties might raise a flag to a spider.
Doesn't that say enough? C'mon folks, 'hiding' anything is bad news. First off, I don't want 'visible' links to an SEO site on any client pages let alone hidden links. I depend on WOM for business. That's it. No ad campaign, no website and certainly not any 'hidden' links from a client site. Resorting to such tactics puts the SEO in front of the client's interests.
Additionally, letting everyone know that a site has been 'optimized' is never in the best interest of the client. Ever. Put your client in the top 5 and get as many number 1's as possible and forget promoting yourself as an 'SEO'.
Links are currency, spending that currency on your site without the site owner's knowledge is theft. Misrepresenting the value of the currency is theft. If your client doesn't know that links are currency, you haven't done your job as an SEO.